LTTE mortar attack sets army camp on fire
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 March 1999, 15:50 GMT]
A portion of the Sri Lankan Army camp at Thallady, in the Northwest of the island, was set on fire when the Liberation Tigers attacked it with artillery and mortar this evening around 5.30 said sources. The attack lasted for nearly 30 minutes.
According to unconfirmed reports the LTTE shells have hit the camp's ammunition dump setting that portion of the camp on fire.
There is a lot of smoke in the area and the sky has been lit up as a result of the fire the sources said.
SLA officials said the Tigers had moved close to the camp to launch the attack.
The officials however categorically denied reports from Mannar that part of the large Thallday base was infiltrated and destroyed by the LTTE.
Initial reports from Mannar said several SLA soldiers might have been wounded in the attack.
The wounded have been rushed to the Mannar hospital and SLA soldiers are on guard in the environs of the hospital.
The Thallady camp is one of the earliest and largest military camps to be established by the Sri Lankan government in the north and east of the island.
Since 1990 it has expanded in to a large base complex, strategically located on the coast mainland Mannar at the junction.
The causeway that links the Mannar island to the mainland is guarded by this SLA base.
Meanwhile reports from Mannar town said that about 200 civilians fled from a section of the town due to shells that had fallen in the area this evening following the attack on the Thallady camp. No civilian was injured in the shelling said sources in Mannar.
The displaced people sought refuge in churches and temples, sources said.